24. Oct, 2014

HOW SHOULD WE RELATE ?

Relating to others can sometimes be a stressful journey, firing up our anger, or activating our sense of distance and disinterest. Meister Eckhart (1260 A.D.-1329 A.D.) reminded us of a framework to cope better, referring to the concept of Letting Go:' What is the test, that you have indeed undergone this holy birth ? Listen carefully. If this birth has truly taken place within you, then every single creature points you to God.' - It is a simple yet very demanding thought as it requires constant vigilance of our feelings as we meet others. When in strong disagreement with another, it is so,so easy to feel our emotions sweeping our reason and our compassionate understanding aside. But Julian of Norwich (1342-1415 A.D.) said that we leave many good deeds undone and we do so many evils that we ought to stop, " yet out Lord is never angry, nor ever shall be, for He is God. He is truth; love; peace.' Getting close to these qualities involves us in approaching the hardy perennials of Meaning and Purpose. Today's world of commerce and media suck our attention away from these as we become often through necessity subject time pressures, but accidentally we also become slaves of the commercial world. A recent case in point, is the mass purchase of council houses in Madrid by an American developer, who then increased the rents five fold, so making many people homeless with no redress. St.Thomas Aquinas said : ' Though the earthly goods God gives to us, may be ours to own, the use of them in excess of our needs must be shared with anyone who can benefit from it.' This is an example where righteous anger and action couple with reason are certainly valid. A constant perusal of the world and its deformities, coupled to appropiate action, brings us closer to the Creator. Action fires up the soul, pushing us not only to consider others more deeply, but also to reflect on our own spiritual journey. 'It is the falling away from love (caritas) that creates all our difficulties." (Julian of Norwich).

Thank you. Tom Baxter